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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 67 (1983)

Issue: 3. (March)

First Page: 440

Last Page: 441

Title: Potential Oil Corridor Bisects Australian Continent: ABSTRACT

Author(s): John R. Conolly

Article Type: Meeting abstract


New oil discoveries, coupled with intensified exploration in the past four years, suggest that several of Australia's major onshore basins can be linked to form a potential oil corridor which will span the continent. The huge Canning basin forms the western part of the corridor and lies adjacent to fields in the Amadeus and Pedirka basins in central Australia which merge with the oil provinces of the central Eromanga and Cooper basins which are linked, in turn, to the eastern Surat basin. Some narrow basement arches separate and form the only barriers to a zone which crosses the Great Inland deserts of the continent. Eventually this zone could support a network of pipelines and other facilities to provide the infrastructure required for easier economic development of remo e outback regions. Parts of the infrastructure are now being developed or already exist such as the pipelines from Moomba to Sydney and Adelaide. As new oil discoveries, such as those at Blina in the Canning basin and in Jackson in the Eromanga basin, are made, this infrastructure will grow along the potential corridor and away from it to coastal waters. The corridor owes its origin in the main part to the geometry of ancient basic tectonics and subsequent sedimentation patterns. For instance, Ordovician oil-rich sequences linked the Canning and Amadeus basins, whereas Jurassic oil reservoirs cross the remainder of the eastern half of the corridor. Potential new discoveries are predicted for sequences which range in age from upper Proterozic to Neocomian and these can be reviewed within he corridor. Devonian reef trends flank the northern Canning

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basin while Ordovician carbonates and shales form potential fields throughout parts of the southern Canning basin. Thick sequences of interbedded clastics and marine rocks of Silurian to Permian age form additional targets in several depocenters in the Canning. Oil reservoirs of Ordovician age occur in the western Amadeus basin but new plays exist in the basal Cambrian sands of the eastern Amadeus and potentially in the northern thrust sheet belt. Oil has now been found in rocks of Permian, Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous age in the Cooper-Eromanga basin. New plays exist with the extensions of the central Eromanga basin where higher heat flow and deeper burial has matured younger Jurassic sources. The more established Surat basin has further potential in Permian and Triassic rocks s does the Mesozoic in the coastal Clarence-Moreton and Sydney basins. With less than 200 wildcats being drilled every year, the potential for this corridor certainly lies in the future.

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